Hear no, Speak no, See no? Important month and week for cleft lip kids and others.

May is Better Hearing and Speech month in America. At one end of the age spectrum, this is important for lip/palate kids for whom their early surgeries are just the beginning of their struggle to look and sound ‘normal.’

Seniors as well as kids.

At the other end of the age spectrum, many Boomers and Seniors are facing increasing hearing deficits from natural aging, speech issues from strokes and TIAs, etc. Speech Language Professionals are being minted in huge numbers these days to deal with the “off-the-chart” numbers of people affected.

Identical cleft lip girls1

 

 

Craniofacial Week important for cleft lip kids, too.

Relatedly, last week was Craniofacial Week in the US, which features the motto, “Early intervention Counts.” While many of us have seen Operation Smile and Smile Train photos of school-age kids–and even teens—who haven’t had their cleft lips/palates repaired, what we don’t hear is that these clefts may never learn to speak properly or recover from being bullied and/or ostracized.

Within reason, the earlier cleft surgeries start, the better the speech, , and emotional outcomes are.